Rated PG-13, 112 minutes
The dramatic film "Miral" is a compelling portrait of a young girl caught up in the Middle East conflict; I know many who have a difficult understanding a complex subject, but try being in the middle of it. The story centers on an orphaned Palestinian girl ("Slumdog Millionaire's" Frieda Pinto) growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict. She is raised in an orphanage by the opinionated but kind Hind (Hiam Abbass) but as she grows older love draws her first-hand into the difficulties her land faces, but even more important than the conflict her country faces is the inner conflict she has: stand up for what she believes or promote the peace she was taught by Hind. Director Julian Schnabel ("Diving Bell and the Butterfly") skillfully brings out the complexities the Middle East issues bring, and the autobiographical story, based on the life of Rula Jebreal is superbly acted. The downbeat story loses a little focus in the later going, but it's positive message is also a hopeful one. Worth a look to see how this issue affects people in different ways.
Wes’s Grade: B
Worth Seeing: Yes, a complex but downbeat story but Pinto is always lovely to watch.